Review: Also known as the Weaksauce Edition...I kid, I kid.
Sony's Greatest Hits line has offered the chance to acquire great games at an affordable price, but in recent years the platform has allowed publishers to sneak in new content in an attempt to encourage double-dipping by fans of particular games (longtime readers might recall my desire for Square Enix to release FFX-2 International + Last Mission here, but I'm over it since it's never going to happen). It started as simply as Silent Hill 2, whose GH version brought the once Xbox-only features to the PS2. Eventually we saw Virtua Fighter 4 get a total overhaul with VF4: Evolution. Pretty soon Rockstar will release Midnight Club 3 Remix as a Greatest Hit. But perhaps none have been anticipated as much as Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition. Though technically it's the Greatest Hits version of the action classic, it feels like a whole new game even to those who have spent hours conquering the challenging adventure, and is the best route for those who might have been scared off by DMC3's required skill level. Regardless, at $20 and full of new stuff, this is truly the ultimate edition of Devil May Cry 3 ? and this time, the game is designed for everyone.
Just as a note, this review will look more into the new and/or revamped things in this Special Edition, and not so much the core gameplay since it has gone unchanged and doesn't need to be rehashed again. If you're seeking information on that, our original review
will cover all you need to know. Generally the score along side the review is the same as DMC3's, with a couple changes to reflect the added depth the SE provides. It is technically the same game, after all, and definitely withstands the test of time, at least so far.
The main draw to DMC3:SE will likely be the revamped level of challenge. For many, DMC3 was a brutally difficult, almost impossible game to finish, even on easy. Whether it was a mistake or intentional, all that happened was Capcom made 'normal' in the US the equivalent to hard in Japan, with easy being the default in the version released in the East. It's all a bit weird. Anyway, it's all been fixed up, as the normal difficulty in SE is comparable to the easy from the original DMC3, and the easy mode is truly such. To compensate there's an added very hard for those who were masters of all things DMC3. It's not really a change for that hardcore set though, it's more to appeal to a broader audience, but Capcom was smart to add new challenges for that group. The game is, of course, the exact same thing, as Dante sets out to find his brother Vergil who is looking to open the gates to the demon world, the same gates their father Sparda locked after rebelling against his kind. The game doesn't have any new plot revelations or anything of the sort, so you wouldn't really miss anything if you stuck with the OG DMC3.
There is a new boss character do deal with though ? that annoying clown Jester will get in your way on a couple occasions. However he's pretty weak and even the most average of gamers can do away with him without any trouble, as he has predictable patterns and tends to just stand there while you wail on him. That aside, the only changes to DMC3 is the difficulty; the result is a more balanced, fair game that rewards those who learn the ropes but isn't quite as punishing on those who don't. This is not the same kind of dumbing down as DMC2 went through some 3 years ago; instead the normal challenge level is on par with the original Devil May Cry, which was challenging but not impossible. It makes me wonder exactly why Capcom didn't do this the first time around and save themselves the trouble with this Greatest Hits version, it's almost as if they felt a desire to out-do its competition, such as Ninja Gaiden, and also make up for the sanitized Devil May Cry 2. For those who haven't had a chance to play the original DMC3, I won't bore you by repeating my review from a year ago; all the info you need is in that article.
However there are some new things to get veterans of the original game into the mix. You will need to have a completed game with Dante to unlock them, but if you have managed to beat the original DMC3 and still have the memory card save, it will unlock the bonuses automatically, adding some extra appeal for a double-dip purchase. First off is the Bloody Palace that came from DMC2. Like that game, there's 9,999 levels to complete, but you go up 1 level, 10 levels, or 100 levels for varying levels of challenge. Like the normal game, the Dante you get to use is based upon what you've done with him on that particular save; he'll have all upgrades, health, and 'magic' points applied for maximum ass-kicking. Naturally completing this difficult task earns you some new bonuses in classic Capcom fashion.
The big draw, however, is Vergil. By popular demand, those who buy DMC3SE can play as Vergil for the very first time. You'll find, however, that this is both awesome and a letdown. It's awesome because Vergil is a completely different beast than Dante ? he has a weapon that lets you play similarly to Dante, but that's where it ends. Unfortunately he doesn't earn the same weapons as Dante, sticking to his katana, or hand-to-hand combat. Because he has no guns to use, his distance attack is more a sword summoning skill, which is just as deadly as Dante with Ebony & Ivory. On the other hand Vergil has Devil Trigger right from the start, and he can upgrade his skills like Dante would. Just being able to play as the cold, calm, calculating anti-Dante is quite awesome and the scattered new cutscenes explore Vergil's reasoning for all of this madness. On the other hand, playing as Vergil doesn't mean you'll get all-new levels to play; while at first it might appear so, right after the opening cutscene Vergil is suddenly transported to Dante's office and from there you just replay Dante's stages. It's a bit of a trade-off ? playing as Vergil rocks, but having to go through Dante's stages is disappointing.